Another of those quick updates

I know…it’s been a long time between posts.

My life has been its usual craziness between my day job and working on the new book, but I thought I’d give a quick update on a couple of things.

Firstly, the new book…
My publisher, Michael Heyward at Text Publishing, gave it a lovely mention in a recent edition of Bookseller & Publisher, so I can now tell you it’s called The Undercurrent and it will be release in August 2017. As I’ve said before, it’s a totally new story set in a near-future Australia and is a stand-alone novel.

In other news, the Turkish translation of Burn is available, with a stunning cover design. Here are all four books in the series (in order):
10915288_919531344747805_6540803074086022022_n Haze_Turkish cover Turkish Shimmerburn-turkish-cover

My favourite reads this year include (click on each for my thoughts on Goodreads):

jaclyn cath-crowley kirsty chris-currie melina

I’ve also been lucky enough to read a draft of Vikki Wakefield’s new suspense novel Ballad for a Mad Girl (due out in March 2017) and can tell you that it’s spine-chillingly awesome.

I’ve also been watching:

hell_on_wheels_ver4_xlg

queen-south westworld the-walking-dead-season-7_0

(Jury is still out on whether I’m going to see out this season of Walking Dead after that first episode. I may not forgive the writers for that one.)

Okay, that’s it for me for now.

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Supanova Gold Coast 2015

I’m back from two days on the Gold Coast after participating in Supanova 2015, my first gig at a pop culture convention. And I had an absolute ball.

I saw brilliant cosplay characters, met lovely and talented actors and artists, and spent the weekend with a fantastic bunch of authors: Peter F Hamilton, Traci Harding, Kim Wilkins, Alan Baxter, Justin Woolley, Lynette Noni, and Marianne de Pierres.

I saw stormtroopers, Jack Sparrow, Ripley (complete with alien bursting out of her abdomen), Harlequin and Poison Ivy, Thor and Loki, hordes of zombies, Street Fighters, Super Mario Brothers, Kick Ass and Hit Girl…and expanded my fledgling knowledge of Anime. I watched professional wrestling and high energy, full-band lip-syncing/air guitar/drumming (Rockstar Entertainment), visited the Weta exhibit and browsed the most eclectic and fascinating collections of artwork, memorabilia and medieval warcraft. There’s so much to see and do at Supanova, it’s almost overwhelming.

But what struck me most was the atmosphere. As well as the sensation of entering a different world, there’s the unmistakable sense of fun and camaraderie. People are there to enjoy and express themselves: it’s an inclusive and eclectic tribe coming together with a shared passion for pop culture.

The Gold Coast Convention Centre buzzed for two days, inside and out. Huge congratulations to all involved for such a well-run event that remained true to its vision to be family-friendly. The crowds were thick on both days, but – from my experience at least – there were no dramas. And thank you again to Ineke for inviting me to be part of the writing contingent this year. It was a blast.

A few highlights:
As a die-hard Buffy and Angel fan, it was a treat to meet Charisma Carpenter, a dear friend of Marianne de Pierres:
IMG_1725My spot on the signing table was between the lovely Traci Harding and Peter F Hamilton. Peter is not only a legendary and much-beloved science fiction writer, he’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to watch his interactions with fans, and to get the chance to chat with him for two days. (Plus, I got a book signed!)
IMG_1723Two actors who caused a fair bit of excitement (especially among teens) were Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) and Aussie actor Bob Morley (The 100). They were both pretty cool guys, so when they sat behind Marianne and I on the bus to the cocktail party, I thought I should capture the occasion. They kindly hammed it up.
IMG_1703Here’s a snapshot of my experience at Supanova Gold Coast 2015:

 

 

 

North American blog tour for Haze

HAZE-BlogTourBannerI’m coming out of the writing cave for a few days because it’s the North American blog tour for Haze!

There are guest posts, interviews, reviews and giveaways. Here are all the links, now live:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Wendy at The Midnight Garden (Setting inspirations – including locations inspired by random Google images)
Jo Ann at Journey of a Bookseller (review)
Lee at Rally the Readers (review)
Stephanie at The Bevy Bibliothèque (review)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
Lynne at Words of Mystery (a guest post, in which I talk about fear – including my own)
Alexandra at Collections (review)
Leslie at Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks (an interview with Gaby)
Ashley at Book Labyrinth (review and giveaway)
Jen at The Starry-Eyed Revue (some thoughts on casting/how I picture characters)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
Summer at MissFictional’s World of YA Books (guest post: my musical inspiration for Haze)
Jillian at Centre of the Universe (review)
Jen at Perogies & Gyoza (review)
Crystal at WinterHaven Books (review)
Lisa at Turning Pages (review)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Bethzaida at Bookittyblog (review)
Krystal at Krystal’s Stellar Book Blog (review)
Jaime (and her sister Erin) at FictionFare (an interview about cut scenes, weird google searches, characters who surprised me – and more!)
Marianne and Bec at Escape Club (an interview, in which I talk about Rafa’s appeal)
Christina at The Paperback Princesses (review)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
Joy at Joyousreads (review)
Crystal at Crystal in Bookland (review)
Andrea at Cozy Up With A Good Read (review)
Kristen at My Friends Are Fiction (guest post: what Gaby and I have in common)

You can also check out the Tundra Books blog for more information on how to win a signed copy of Shadows (hard cover) and a brand new hard cover copy of Haze.

Massive thank you to all the bloggers who so kindly participated in the tour, and to Sylvia at Tundra Books for again organising. It was great fun! 🙂

Marianne de Pierres chats about genre blending (and bending)

Peacemaker Tour Banner

The very versatile and talented Marianne de Pierres has a new novel out in five weeks, the clever genre-bending thriller Peacemaker (read my thoughts on it here). I offered to participate in the Peacemaker blog tour because I wanted to ask Marianne about her creative process for this latest project, and I thought a few of you might be interested in the answer. So here it is…

Given you’re adept at a number of genres, how did you decide which elements to bring together – and in what order did they come to you? Western, urban fantasy, sci fi…what was the spark that joined the dots for you?

Marianne:
I wrote a short story almost ten years ago entitled Gin Jackson: Neophtyte Ranger which Cat Sparks published in Agog! The main character in PEACEMAKER was born back then, but she was situated in a futuristic outback Australia, in a town protected by an environmental bubble. GR author pic_webWhen I got the idea for PEACEMAKER, I knew from the outset that I wanted to use Gin as my protagonist, but somehow locate her in a place where I could indulge my love for western novels. Gin Jackson became Virgin, and the rest just slotted together in my mind like a bolt locking into place. I had already visited the notion of Australia super cities in the Parrish Plessis novels, and it was an idea I wanted to continue to explore. In PEACEMAKER, however (unlike Nylon Angel’s Parrishverse), there is no barren interior. The PEACEMAKER world depicts a future Australia that is densely populated throughout, other than this one tract of land – Birrimun Park – which has been preserved as a natural habitat.

Peacemaker-CRSome of the pre-publication discussion about the book has suggested a Firefly kind of world, but it is really nothing at all like that great series. The urban fantasy elements are very strong in PEACEMAKER and they sit firmly atop a story heavy in crime, mystery and semi-espionage. For some inexplicable reason, I also kept getting echoes of Robert Holdstock’s classic novel, Mythago Wood as I began to write. It seemed strange but I’ve learnt to trust these instincts. Suddenly, it became clear that as the story arc played out in my mind, and the fantastical elements began to develop, that the series would tilt more towards a mythical saga. Go figure?

If you are the kind of reader who likes to have both feet planted firmly in a single genre story then PEACEMAKER is not for you. But if you like the notion of a tale that tugs you in a number of directions then I expect — hope — you will enjoy the ride! 🙂

Thanks Marianne. 🙂

Read more about Peacemaker and release dates

Read more about Marianne’s work

Thoughts from a couple of readers on a soundtrack for the Rephaim

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Rebecca – or ‘Place’, as I still call her from our high school days – happens to be one of the Rephaim’s biggest fans (she was the first person to read Shadows as it took shape). She’s also somewhat of an encyclopedia when it comes to music.

My very good friends, The Crams. (It's okay, the girls aren't really reading Haze - still too young for the Rephaim series!)

(It’s okay, the girls aren’t really reading Haze – a few more years yet before they’re allowed to read my series.)

Every year for my birthday and Christmas, she and her family (aka the Crams) put together a collection of songs from their current playlist. (Don’t be fooled by the girls’ youth: they know more bands and music trivia that most roadies).

For my birthday a few months’ back, Place whipped up something extra special: a soundtrack for Shadows and Haze. I love the time and thought that went into this, especially given the inclusion of a few bands she and I used rock out to back in the day. 🙂

I thought I’d share her list, along with the notes that always come with my mix CDs to explain song choices.

 Soundtrack + notes from Place
– Shadows and Haze

  1. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics
    (Not so) sweet dreams – self explanatory reference to Gaby (and Jude’s) dreams of their real and imagined past, and the title of chapter two (Shadows).
  2. This Is A Call – Foo Fighters
    Fingernails are pretty! A homage to our intriguing artist Jacques and, of course, Jude’s fave band.
  3. Running from An Angel – Hootie & The Blowfish
    Of the myriad of songs about angels, I thought the title of this one fit quite nicely, and it’s a fine ballad.
  4. Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars
    Another wonderfully apt title, and another funky tune from Bruno. Religious references abound in the lyrics of this sexy song.
  5. Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones
    Tribute to the chapter ‘Pleased to meet you. Not’
  6. Blue on Black – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
    Another chapter tribute, to ‘Wearing black and blue’. And that the author is a big Kenny Wayne Shepherd fan!
  7. Demon’s Eye – Deep Purple
    Another tune from one of Jude’s favourite bands. It had to be Demon’s Eye. (Note from Paula: an early draft of Shadows had a reference to Deep Purple which didn’t make the final cut – but yes, the classic 70s rockers are among Jude’s faves.)
  8. Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain) – INXS
    I just couldn’t bring myself to put ‘The Sound of Music’ on the soundtrack (‘The hills are alive!’), but thought this track fit the bill, and brought a nice piece of Aussie pop/rock to the mix
  9. Heart of an Angel – Jeff Healey Band
    Another angel track, and I seem to recall the Jeff Healey being another one of your faves.
  10. Fallin’ – Alicia Keyes
    I was actually looking for tracks with ‘fallen’ in them, but thought this song went close and summed up Gaby and Rafa’s struggle with their relationship really nicely. And Alicia has an awesome voice.
  11. The Devil Went Down To Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band
    Or something went down in Iowa, anyway! I have always loved this classic hillbilly song with the most awesome fiddle playing ever. 
  12. Children of the Grave – Black Sabbath
    Or the corn. Super-creepy, classic Black Sabbath. How good is that rat-a-tat-tat percussion?
  13. Hells Bells – AC/DC
    Take your pick: Rhythm Palace, the hills behind Pan Beach: here is your epic battle track!
  14. All My Life – Foo Fighters
    Couldn’t have a soundtrack without this one.

Thanks Place (and the Crams) for this awesome list. 🙂

A thought from Casey at Dark-Readers

Overnight, Casey over at Dark-Readers in the UK posted this clip on Twitter because she felt it perfectly capture Gaby and Rafa. I love the connection:

A few thoughts from me – Shadows

Earlier in the year as part of the UK blog tour for Shadows, Emma at Book Angel Booktopia (http://www.bookangelbooktopia.com/2013/01/musical-moments-guest-post-shadows-by-paula-weston.html) asked about my musical inspiration for Shadows. I offered up four Foo Fighters songs.

The first, which sums up where Gaby’s head is at right at the start of Shadows is All my Life. For me, it’s also the song that captures the essence of the series. (And which Place included above too.)

All my life I’ve been searching for something
Something never comes never leads to nothing
Nothing satisfies but I’m getting close
Closer to the prize at the end of the rope
All night long I dream of the day
When it comes around and it’s taken away
Leaves me with the feeling that I feel the most
Feel it come to life when I see your ghost

February Stars is a more mellow song, and I think it perfectly reflects Gaby’s quieter moments before she starts to find out her life is not what it seems.

Hanging on
Here until I’m gone
Right where I belong
Just hanging on

Even though
I pass this time alone
Somewhere so unknown
It heals the soul

(This clip is from the Skin and Bones live show. I love this version.)

http://youtu.be/Hdlhh0mefSg

Pretender: How could I not include this one? It’s about lies and buried secrets – and refusing to accept someone else’s version of who you are. Perfect for Gaby.

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones go marching in again
They need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep are ever ready
Are you ready?

And finally, No Way Back. It’s a great fit for how’s Gaby’s feeling by the end of Shadows.

Lately, I’ve been
Livin’ in my head
The rest of me is dead,
I dying for truth.

Pleased to meet you take my hand,
There is no way back from here,
Pleased to meet you say your prayers,
There is no way back from here,
But I don’t care,
No way back from here

A few thoughts from me – Haze

And then, as part of last month’s Haze blog tour in the UK, Jenny at Wondrous Reads (http://www.wondrousreads.com/2013/10/haze-blog-tour-author-interview-paula.html) asked if I had a playlist for Haze. Here’s what I offered (notice there are non-Foo listings!):

– Bridge Burning (Foo Fighters)
– Halo (Foo Fighters)
– Skin and Bones (Foo Fighters)
– Little Black Submarines (The Black Keys)
– 2 Deep (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
– Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
– Wild at Heart (Birds of Tokyo)

Archives

The Rephaim

Shadows (The Rephaim Book I) by Paula Weston
Haze (The Rephaim Book II) by Paula Weston
Shimmer (The Rephaim Book III) by Paula Weston
Burn (The Rephaim Book IV) by Paula Weston

About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series. The Undercurrent, a stand-alone speculative thriller set in near-future Australia, will be released by Text Publishing in August 2017.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in Brisbane with my husband.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston